Short description of the project:

SPOT is a 24 months project, funded by the EU programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020, which kicked off in January 2020. The project aims to develop a new approach to understanding and addressing cultural tourism and to promote development of disadvantaged areas. Specifically, it will identify layers of data and capitalise on existing practice. It will explore emerging forms of cultural tourism, identifying opportunities and developing strategies allowing local people to gain benefit from their precious cultural assets. SPOT will engage academics and stakeholders for development of policy proposals and generalise lessons learnt through an Innovation Tool to assist policymakers and practitioners. The five main keystones of the project are: incorporating the role of local communities, expanding the concept of cultural tourism, from the passive consumption of cultural objects to the active and interactive participation in cultural experiences, building in the role of stakeholders, developing this interactive and dynamic view of cultural tourism and view the issue of identity not as a local phenomenon, but as a multi-scale phenomenon.

Liaison with RURITAGE:

As a result of collaboration with SPOT project, RURITAGE was invited to prepare scientific publication in the special issue of the Sustainability Journal. The following to papers have been published as a result of this collaboration (

  • de Luca, C.; López-Murcia, J.; Conticelli, E.; Santangelo, A.; Perello, M.; Tondelli, S. Participatory Process for Regenerating Rural Areas through Heritage-Led Plans: The RURITAGE Community-Based Methodology. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5212.
  • Egusquiza, A.; Zubiaga, M.; Gandini, A.; de Luca, C.; Tondelli, S. Systemic Innovation Areas for Heritage-Led Rural Regeneration: A Multilevel Repository of Best Practices. Sustainability 2021, 13, 5069.

SPOT collaborated with RURITAGE in the framework of a series of RURITAGE webinars called ‘Rural Connections – knowledge exchange with EU Rural projects’ .The first webinar of the series took place on 12 April 2021 and was related to the topic of ‘Rural tourism and marketing’. Four EU projects working in the area of sustainable local tourism – namely SPOT, IMPACTOUR, SmartCulTour and EuropeTour were invited to present the topic form their perspectives. The event gathered 56 participants. More information about the event is available at: The recording link is available here:

RURITAGE and SPOT exchanged social media accounts to be regularly updated about new project results and upcoming activities of mutual interest.

Further networking activities will be developed.